High West Barrel Aged Victory at Sea is an American Porter brewed by Ballast Point Brewing Company, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a snifter from a bottle.
The ale pours an opaque mahogany and is topped by nearly an inch-thick cap of bubbly mocha-colored foam that shows good retention. Residue coats the sides as the head reduces while droplets and patches remain during consumption.
The aroma is initially sweet with a mix of vanilla and dark chocolate. A scent of coffee asserts itself as the beer warms.
The palate begins sweetly with a taste of vanilla and caramel. Dark chocolate punches the middle before cresting to a bitter finish that’s earthy and herbal. Flavors of oak barrel, licorice, herbal hops, tart citrus, and coffee roast round out the tasting.
Its feel is smooth, creamy and chewy with its full body and less-than-moderate carbonation. Finishes astringently with a warming sensation from the alcohol.
The High West Barrel Aged Victory at Sea is really well crafted. Its appearance is solid and its aroma is pleasant. Its feel is luxurious and its palate is decadent, complex, and oh so good. At first, its finish is a little too harsh but mellows a bit as the beer warms. Also impressive is that its lofty ABV has such a marginal impact. Even its warming sensation isn’t particularly hot.
You’ll want to drink the High West slowly and savor every sip. Really well made.
About this Beer
This variant of the Victory at Sea porters was aged in bourbon and rye barrels from the High West distillery.